“When we were 15 or 16 we were playing covers – not so much grunge, which was very much what was happening at the time.
We were more into The Band and an Australian band called You Am I, and a band called Sloan from Canada, which were a huge influence.”
Nic Cester – Interview in the Songwriting Magazine
The debut album “Get Born” released in 2003 went nuts everywhere. In Australia, it’s six times platinum. The songs reminded everyone of other songs that came before and of an era that was seen as innocent and golden.
Every great riff or drum beat was put into the Jet blender.
“Are You Gonna Be My Girl” became even bigger when it got used by Apple for its iPod ads. When people started to talk about its originality and influences, it became even bigger.
The follow up, “Shine On” released in 2006, is a favourite of mine, even though it didn’t do great numbers commercially like the debut. In Australia, it’s certified platinum, but the press outside Australia was scathing, having them labelled as one hit wonders already. Wolfmother copped the same treatment.
And once the tour finished, the band members went their separate ways. No one spoke to each other for 9 months. They eventually organised to meet at Nic Cester’s place in Italy. They yelled and screamed at each other and made up. Without any label interest, they produced and financed their next album.
“Shaka Rock” came out in 2009. Australian fans certified this album Platinum. To a lot of people, it’s still virtually unknown.
“Shaka” is basically a hand gesture in which the thumb and little finger are extended outwards from a closed fist, used to express approval, solidarity, etc.
“K.I.A” has the bass dominating with a Rage Against The Machine like groove. And vocally, Nic Cester wails and barks his way through the verses while singing his way through the Chorus.
“Beat On Repeat” sounds like a song from The Clash. It’s got that pop punk vibe.
“She’s A Genius” brings a riff which is reminiscent to “My Sharona” from The Knack. “Ain’t My Bitch” from Metallica also had a riff groove like “My Sharona”.
The origins of the riff goes back all the way to 1966 and The Spencer Davis Group with their song, “Gimme Some Lovin”.
“Black Hearts (On Fire)” brings a Molly Hatchett Southern Blues Rock boogie.
The opening bars of “Seventeen” remind me of “Fantasy” from Aldo Nova and “Cold As Ice” from Foreigner.
The Beatles like intro to “La Di Da” is familiar.
“Goodbye Hollywood” has this U2 like vocal as Cester says goodbye to the addictions that came with his fame.
“It just didn’t fit me like it should”
“Walk” has this “Come Together” like swagger.
“Times Like This” is “Long Train Running” from The Doobie Brothers and I like it.
“Let Me Out” has this “Jessie’s Girl”, “My Best Friends Girlfriend” and a bit of “Born To Run” chucked in. Take those little influences and create something new.
“Start the Show” sounds like “Supergrass” making love to “T.Rex” with a little bit of “Cold Chisel” thrown in.
And the final song, “She Holds a Grudge”, is very Rolling Stones ballad like.
The whole album is so easy to listen to and at 41 minutes, it just rolls and rocks.
After “Shaka Rock” and the tour, the band went on hiatus or in their own words, “discontinued as a group”.
When they reformed for some one off shows and opening gigs for Bruce Springsteen.
And they then played sold out shows around Australia in 2018 and released the album “Get Born Live”.
Check out the Shaka 🤙.